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Improving fire safety in NSW 

Comments closed 31 January 2017 

What is this about? 

The NSW Government has released proposed reforms to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 which aim to improve fire safety in new and existing buildings. These reforms have been given special priority by the government in their response to the final report on the statutory review of the Building Professionals Act 2005, released in September 2016.

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What has happened so far? 

The proposed reforms have been developed by the Department of Planning and Environment and the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, in conjunction with key stakeholders. The draft Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 is now available to view and for industry and the public to provide comments and feedback.

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What are the proposed changes? 

The proposed changes cover a broad range of buildings, at various stages of construction, including the design, construction, pre-occupation and post-occupation stages.

The proposed reforms include:

  • new requirements around submitting and checking plans and specifications for fire safety systems in some buildings
  • additional critical stage inspections for some buildings
  • reports required for all alternative fire safety solutions in some buildings
  • random inspections of fire safety systems by Fire and Rescue NSW before occupation certificates can be issued for multi-dwelling residential buildings.

These reforms will also require greater involvement of specialist practitioners to perform certain fire safety functions such as carrying out annual fire safety statement checks. Specialists will be regulated through a new accreditation framework, and a separate consultation process in relation to this aspect of the reforms will be conducted by the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation in early 2017.

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Have your say 

To have your say, see the paper summarising the proposed reforms as well as the draft amendment Regulation on the Department of Planning and Environment’s consultation page.

Submissions must be received by 31 January 2017.

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What are the next steps? 

The Department of Planning and Environment and the Department of Finance Services and Innovation will review all submissions, which may result in further amendments to the Regulation. If required, we may conduct further consultation on any key issues identified. The final Regulation will be published on the NSW legislation website.

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Important Documents 

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